Expanding fashion spectrum through ‘HEIGHTS’ – Deepak Gupta
FASHION TRICKLING DOWN INTO TIER 2 CITIES.
Indian fashion designers, fashion sector and fashion education has made its mark on international platform, in last few years what started as a trickle has turned into a deluge today. Indian fashion or fashion designers are no strangers to international haute couture. And this development is not confined to only the metropolitan cities as tier 2 cities like Jaipur has also joined the bandwagon. Pink city has broken out of its perceived mould and extended its fashion horizon to an unimaginable extent. There was a time earlier when people used to identify Jaipur with traditional and ethnic fashion, however, pink city has embraced all contemprary trends and churning out best of talent. New breed of fashion designers have pushed the envelop on design front to take it to unprecedented level. In this regard HEIGHTS FASHION INSTITUTE has been instrumental and playing crucial role of promoting local talent to touch glory and fame. To know more about fashion scenario and to gain an insight into the mind of driving force behind it we spoke to DEEPAK & ANJALI GUPTA, promoters of HEIGHTS, education of fashion.
Q Please tell us about HEIGHTS and how your journey with heights started?
Heights is a Delhi based brand and we started the Jaipur chapter 15 years back in 2003. We are having a vast network and teach textile designing, jewelry designing, fashion designing, and related streams.
Q- How cumbersome is the selection procedure?
We have kept it very simple and its based on merit and passion of the student towards the subject.
Q- What do you think is the future of fashion in Jaipur is and how it has eveolved over the years ?
Fashion knows no boundaries and has grown by leaps and bounds. Fashion has evolved rapidally and transcended the class barrier. It is not something wich is limited to upper middle or rich class only now. For example high end luxury brands are within the reach of middle class in small cities now and they have enviable fashion collection. Fashion and Jewellery designing have become the most viable career options now and that was not the case earlier.
Q You hail from Delhi, what propelled you to shift to pink city and set up work there ?
I was familer with pulse of the city and knew which pitfalls to avoid on my journey. This helped me immensly to flourish in business, I was aware of the high fashion sense of Jaipur which may have been ethnic at one point in time but it is no longer so, I knew Jaipur has evolved into a city which can accommodate both the ethnic and the contemporaries. We observed that Jaipur had immense potential but lacked a proper infrastructure for fashion industry, city had good pool of talent who needed to be nurtured. We chipped in to plug the gap , fashion eco systm in Jaipur was spoiled to take off and lacked the requiste stimuli which we provided. Now we have students from all over Rajasthan.
Q- Is there lack of opportunities for students who pass out from smaller cities and go to big cities for work?
There used to be a time when students lacked opportunities but its no longer the case as things have improved, we have managed to provide them adequate opportunities to flourish in their chosen profession. They are at par with students from big cities in terms of knowledge and exposure now.
Q- Rajasthan has produced some very prominent names from fashion industry, however most of them are from previlaged background. what do you have to say about those who don’t have such good fortune ?
Its true that previlage background does help to a certain degree but at the end of the day success is all about talent, perciveration and outstanding sense of aesthetics. I have seen designers who are underprevilaged making their mark globally.
Q- How do you position your brand and attract best of talent ?
My brand is run, managed and headed by professionals. We run business through professionals. Apart from us being part from the industry itself. My wife is accomplished fashion designer and I am well versed with all technical aspects and knity gritties of the industry. This helps us in avoiding pitfalls in our journey towards excellence. In addition to that our placement record is 90 percent.
Q- Your wife is also an active player in your endevour, how is your synergy of working together ?
She is strong pillar of strength for HEIGHTS , she looks after academic aspects and i take care of technical verticals. We don’t interfare in each others arena but we have healthy discussions that lead to betterment of output and conclusive decisions. We give each other requisite space to operate which allows us to flourish independently .
Q – After establishing yourself in Jaipur, do you still face challenges here ?
It’s a big disadvantage of Jaipur, in fact business rivals are treated as enemies here and I don’t believe in that kind of enemosity and feel that we can learn radical and valuable lessons from our adversaries. Initially biggest challenge was to orient the students towards the fashion industry as there was lack of awareness regarding several facets of fashion. There was also a caviler attitude towards the industry and youngsters din’t really opted for career in fashion seriously which we had to dispel and fortunately we succeeded in doing that.